Malachi Martin

Malachimartin photo.jpgMalachi Martin, (July 23, 1921 July 27, 1999) was a Catholic priest, theologian, writer on the Catholic Church, and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute. He held five doctorates and was the author of sixteen books which covered religious and geo-political topics. He wrote additional books under pen names. He was a controversial commentator on the Vatican and other matters involving the Church.


Father Martin took part in the research of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and published twenty four articles on Semitic paleography in various journals.

He was summoned to Rome to work within the Holy See and act as the private secretary for Augustin Cardinal Bea S.J. from 1958 until 1964. This brought him into close contact with Pope John XXIII. His years in Rome coincided with the start of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which was to transform the Catholic Church in a way that the initially-liberal Martin began to find distressing.

While in Rome, he became a professor within the Pontifical Biblical Institute of the Vatican, where he taught Aramaic, paleography, Hebrew and Sacred Scripture.

Disillusioned by the reforms taking place among the Jesuits, the Church's largest religious order, Martin requested a release from his vows of poverty and obediency in 1964 from Paul VI personally, and left Rome suddenly that June.

After a brief stay in Paris, Martin relocated to New York City in 1965, where he first had to make ends meet as a dishwasher and taxi driver before being able to make his living by his writings. He co-founded an antiques firm and was active in the communications and media field for the rest of his life.

After his arrival in New York, Terence Cardinal Cooke gave him permission to perform priestly faculties. The cardinal advised him to find lodging with a family rather than live alone as he initially did. It was to the Manhattan home of Kakia Livanos and her family, that he moved. She was his landlady who provided his rooms, his meals, and the oratory where he said daily Mass.

In 2004, Father Vincent O'Keefe S.J., former Vicar General of the Society of Jesus and a past President of Fordham University, affirmed that Martin had never been laicized. O'Keefe stated that Martin had been released from all his priestly vows - poverty and obedience - save the vow of chastity.

It is claimed that attacks were mounted on Martin in retaliation for his book The Jesuits, which is hostile to the Jesuit order of which he had formerly been a member. In the book, he accuses the Jesuits of deviating from their original character and mission by embracing Liberation Theology.

Martin died after a fall in his apartment in Manhattan, New York, in 1999. His funeral wake took place in St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Chapel of West Orange, New Jersey. Requiem Mass for his repose was offered by the late Father Paul A. Wickens (April 14, 1930 July 8, 2004) before being buried within the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, in Hawthorne, New York.




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